Hey guys, for people who don’t know me, my name is Jordan Blount, 18 years old, from Cork. I am currently on my 3rd year away from home on a basketball scholarship. I am now on my 2nd year in the Canary Islands, Spain, after completing a year in England.
I am very privileged to be where I am today. Not a lot of people can say that they are plying the sport they love on a beautiful Spanish island at 18 years old. It’s amazing. I get to play ball 7 days a week and look at the sun shining down on me everyday!
The name of my academy is the CBA (Canarias Basketball Academy) and it is now in its 8th year of operations. I am truly blessed to be a part of a place like this. I can’t think of anywhere else in the world where you can live with people from 35 different nationalities all in one house! CBA is renowned the world over for sending players to the United States to play NCAA basketball. I am not sure of the exact figure but since the beginning of the academy Rob Orellana (academy director) and his staff have sent, I think, 60 players to play Division 1 basketball in the states. That’s not to mention the amount of players that go to play division 2 or go pro. I am very honoured and happy to be apart of an academy like this.
Initially my plan wasn’t to come to the academy. I was set to join a high school team in the states called Christian Modesto High School, in California. However, late in my season in England I seemed to gain some interest from Spain. Around April time I had been offered to come to Spain and trial out for Real Madrid, Estudiantes and CBA. CBA, was the first place I visited. I was overwhelmed by how the academy worked, the intensity, the discipline, it was all new to me.
I had never been in a place like that before. I remember my first practice on trial, I had to guard a guy a lot smaller than I, so I thought okay, Ill muscle him up, try block him… He tried to dunk on me 3 times in one sequence of play! I was for sure not in the parochial hall any more. I really connected with one of the coaches Chris Mayes, from England, while I was on trial and luckily he is still here and is helping me to get better every single day. I then went to Estudiantes where trials went really well, I felt like I was almost dominating, coaches seemed impressed but what they proposed was not what I wanted in the slightest. They wanted me to play for their u18 team for a season and then get loaned to another club. My family and I didn’t want that at all. Things just seemed to fall through with Real Madrid, we lost contact and that was it. My decision was very easy. Why wouldn’t I want to play for the no.1 basketball academy in Europe?
Now in my second season, I have progressed so much from where I was 2 years ago. I think if you practice 2/3 times a day plus weights its pretty hard not to get better. To get to where I am today couldn’t have been done alone. I’ve had so much help from people back in Ireland. I can not give enough credit to Paul Kelleher. He has helped me every step of the way. He has coached me for two years in the national team and really looked out for me, not just on the court but off the court too! My father is also a massive reason for me being where I am today. He’s the one who put the ball in my hands and introduced me to the game I love. For that I am forever grateful and I can never thank him enough for what he has done for me! There are many others like Ronan O’Sullivan, Ger Noonan, Jodi Furlong and Trish Nolan – all great people. It is hard to live away from home at such a young age and as I left when I was just 15, I’ve had to mature a lot quicker. Staying in contact with people is hard but I’ve got a great circle of friends that I can always count on even if I don’t talk to them for weeks, the McCarthy twins, Kate Leneghan, Ciara Noan, Jack O Mahony and a lot more too. Also I must mention my girlfriend, Emily Black, she definitely helps a lot while I’m away, always getting on my case about not getting enough assists, so that all helps!
The academy itself is hard, its pretty tough. You practice at least 2-3 times a day and you have weights also, all on top of school. It’s a lot to manage, but you get used to it. My first month of being here last season I struggled with getting into a routine. As soon as you do though everything just becomes second nature to you. You come back after 5am practice, you take a nap, go to school, come back, go to practice again, your body just becomes accustomed to it. There’s also another 80 guys doing the same thing you are, so you’re not alone. This year my team (CBA White) have a lot of great opportunities. We have competed in the Max Preps Holiday Classic in Palm Springs California and we will be competing in the u18 Euroleague at the end of the month. If we continue to perform well in our league we will compete in the Canarian and Spanish Championships. It is very exciting and an amazing team to be a part of. We are currently undefeated and just after a big win versus our rivals, Gran Canria, so the atmosphere in the house is good! I hope to continue our winning streak and do my all to help the team win. Next year, I am hoping to attend a D1 university as long as everything goes to plan.
Thank you for reading, I hope is anyone has anything to ask about the academy or me personally, or if you would like to know what its like to do this and know some more of my experiences, feel free to reach out!
[Ed – Check out a video of CBA “White” in their latest game with Jordan featuring heavily]